Monday, December 10, 2007


the people who've suggested that you go visit sfmoma before february are correct.

there's a really great exhibit as sfmoma right now. the entire 5th floor is taken up by a variety of installations, sculptures, photographs, and other art by a man named olafur eliasson. i was told several times, in no uncertain terms, that this is a must-see show, and i now wish to add my voice to the enthusiastic throng.

the exhibit was beautiful, fun, and intriguing. a couple of the interactive pieces were particularly fantastic, but i also spent a *really* long time with some of the photography.

another highlight of the visit was a 4-minute perusal of the sfmoma website's interactive feature on eliasson. specifically, one page includes a very short video of the artist talking about 'seeing yourself seeing' (click on that title on the main page to go see the video). he talks about viewer interaction with his pieces, about what he wants to encourage by presenting art to the public, about perspective, about awareness of one's viewership.

it could be argued that little in his exhibit or in his online speech should be particularly newsworthy for people who've spent a lot of time at burning man or thinking about art as a participatory experience. but i very much enjoyed seeing such a collection at a mainstream museum, and hearing about the artist's stance on interactivity in such a direct manner.

also, it feels to me that a lot of the 'interactive' art i experience now is created with interactivity as an assumption when it's being designed, or even with interactivity as the *point* of the piece, rather than as an aspect to be included. eliasson's work felt like presentations that had been devised first and foremost as art, and interactivity was incorporated without the loss of any beauty or artistic significance. heh...maybe all i mean is that it was really well-done ;)

[side note: my context for viewing this show includes a lot of discussion and processing in the past month about self-observation, distance from emotion, awareness of my own decision-making and analytical processes, and miscellaneous other meta-thinking/meta-emoting.

included in these discussions was a several-hour conversation about the How and Why and Who of artistic creativity--what determines who is good and/or successful at what types of creative expression? and are there categories of art that are particular to certain types of people? what types of art are proactive vs reactive? premeditated vs spontaneous? are there forms of art that don't require any learning and/or tools? post to come on all the art thinkings, i hope. in the meantime, i'm just quite delighted to have timed my ponderings and sfmoma visitation so appropriately :) happy arting!]

i will and must make it a point to go before it is over. nice review!
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